Boat ownership is truly a life changing experience! Any boat owner will tell you (repeatedly and enthusiastically) about that unforgettable first trip out on the water, with nothing but the water beneath you and the skies above to guide the way.
But when life comes knocking and that weekend adventure comes to an end you areleft with the decision on how to store your boat.
While there are a variety of storage options for your boat in between uses, let’s take a minute to talk about the most convenient of them all: The marina slip!
Should You be Investing in a Marina Slip?
A marina is a docking area that rents or sells “parking space” for boats. This “parking space” is referred to as a slip, and provides boat owners of large and small boats alike an area to attach their boats to a fixed or floating walkway in between boat uses.
So instead of hauling your boat to and from the lake each weekend, all you need to do is pack up the family and head out to the marina for a day on the water - yes, simple as that!
Like with any decision in life, there are a few things to consider before choosing which marina best suits your needs…
Let's Talk About Security
You are going to want to take into account the security of the marina. When looking for the best rate, you want to make sure that the marina is not cutting corners on security. After all, a boat is a big investment, and you might not be comfortable leaving it docked in an unsupervised and unlocked facility.
If security is your priority, you should expect to pay extra to have secured docks with no public access.
Location, Location, Location
Like with any piece of real estate, you are going to want to pay close attention to the location.
Think about the location of your marina as you would if you were buying or renting a home. Now we all know that buying a house in a less than desirable area may cut your costs down, but is it worth it?
How long will it take you to drive there? If possible you should try and secure a slip at a location within a reasonable distance from your home. Why spend time traveling the roads when you could be traveling the water?
Think About the Water Traffic
How busy is the marina, and what's the traffic like on the water? Keep in mind that a congested area can make it more difficult to navigate in and out of the marina.
Tell Me About the Perks!
Services offered by the marina might be a deciding factor as well. Are you content with a dock to anchor your boat to and nothing more, or are you looking for a marina that will create a memorable experience both on and off the water?
Services that may be offered at marinas include:
- Wash and repair facilities
- Launch ramp
- Winter storage facilities
What’s the bottom dollar?
While the cost of a marina slip will vary depending on all the above mentioned factors, it should be noted that you will typically be charged according to the square footage of water your boat occupies.
Of course we all want to save a buck, but it's worth considering that storing your boat at a marina can actually be an economical investment in the long run.
While many of us love the adventure of trailering the boat to and from lakes each weekend, it might not be for you and therefore a marina slip could be a good choice for you and your family.
At the end of the day the choice of a preferred boat storage method is going to be based on what works best for you and your family. And whether you include trailering your boat as part of the adventure or prefer to keep your boat at a marina, the end goal never changes: getting out with family and friends and enjoying time on the water!
If you like this, you might also like the Boat Buying Guide article.